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Weekly Vision: July 23, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1. The Williams syndrome: The rare medical condition that makes you love everyone

2. The logic behind Apple’s (predicted) high-end iPhone this year

3. Along those lines, how the iPhone’s large volumes — counter-intuitively — inhibits the inclusion of cutting edge technology

4. Mad Women: A tribute to Mad Men’s refreshing take on women roles in sitcoms

5. The design ethos of Vitsoe: Living better, with less, that lasts longer

“Hi, do you prefer a female — chipper and cheerful — or a male — assertive and confident — voice?”

Dani Deahl, writing for The Verge:

Samsung’s new voice assistant Bixby has finally arrived, and unfortunately, it was accompanied by sexist descriptions for its male and female voice options.

Under “language and speaking style” in the Bixby menu, as several have pointed out on Twitter, the female voice was accompanied by descriptive tags such as “chipper, clear, and cheerful,” while the male voice was described as “assertive, confident, and clear.” After it was spotted and dissent circulated online, Samsung said it would remove the gendered hashtags, telling Gizmodo it is “working diligently to remove the hashtag descriptions from the Bixby service,” and it is “constantly learning from customer feedback.”

I admire how these companies are working so diligently even in the off season.

The HTC 10 keyboard has started showing ads

Via Twitter:

HTC 10’s stock keyboard now shows ads. Holy shit!

HTC PR’s ‘obvious’ response:

Due to an error, some HTC customers have reported seeing ads on their phone’s keyboard. This is absolutely not the experience we intended, and we’re working to immediately fix the error and remove the ads as quickly as possible.

This is how I understand it – HTC uses the TouchPal keyboard as its default on some devices and due to some glitch, the HTC 10 was flagged as the “free with ads” tier. They’ll obviously rectify it soon enough but this goes to show the inherent problems companies trying to compete on Android software; Google’s (free) keyboard is arguably better, but HTC wants to differentiate for the sake of differentiation.

The original emoji set has been added to The Museum of Modern Art’s collection

Via MoMA:

We are thrilled to announce the addition of NTT DOCOMO’s original set of 176 emoji to the MoMA collection. Developed under the supervision of Shigetaka Kurita and released for cell phones in 1999, these 12 x 12 pixel humble masterpieces of design planted the seeds for the explosive growth of a new visual language.

Early mobile devices, however, were rudimentary and visually unwieldy, capable of receiving only simple information about weather forecasts and basic text messaging.

Shigetaka Kurita, who was a member of the i-mode development team, proposed a better way to incorporate images in the limited visual space available on cell phone screens.

Twelve years later, when a far larger set was released for Apple’s iPhone, emoji burst into a new form of global digital communication.

Even though these emojis are evidently dated for today’s devices, I prefer their abstract quality over the hyper realistic ideograms today.

The hidden oil patterns on bowling lanes

Phil Edwards met with professional bowler Parker Bohn III at his childhood bowling alley, Howell Lanes in Howell, New Jersey. He guided Phli (sic) through the complex strategy a pro bowler uses when encountering different oil patterns. Not only do they have to assess which pattern is in use, but they also have to judge how that pattern changes as the oil shifts and slides over the day. Knowing how to play a specific lane can be the difference between a title and second place.

It isn’t really big news to learn that a sport is more complex than it looks, but fascinating nonetheless since we’ve all engaged in this hobby more than once.

Just goes to show that striking 300 in under two minutes isn’t particularly that impressive anymore.

Weekly Vision: July 16, 2017

The Weekly Vision is a collection of stories that are worth consuming as whole, or just not worth the time editing. You’ll find out either way.

1. The story behind the world’s most famous Windows background

2. Alan Kay talks about what was it like to be at Xerox PARC when Steve Jobs visited

3. The sunk cost fallacy

4. Amazon and avacados. Understanding Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods (podcast).

5. Interview with Vitsoe’s Managing Director on how he saved the company from bankruptcy and sustain good design with a profitable business model. “I’m not rich enough to buy cheaply” (podcast).

Nathalie du Pasquier displays her bold geometric forms and colourful contrasts in London exhibition

Emma Tucker, writing for Dezeen:

French designer and Memphis Group member Nathalie du Pasquier has created more than 50 new pieces for her first solo show in the UK in 25 years.

The From Time to Time exhibition, which is being hosted by Pace London until 29 July, features sculpture, paintings and drawings, all with the bold geometric forms and colourful contrasts that Du Pasquier’s work is known for.

Some of the paintings include additional 3D elements, such as doors that fold out, or grid-like sections that extend beyond the edges of the piece.

Du Pasquier  – who has described herself as a “painter who makes her own models” – often creates these as 3D pieces before painting them in flat colour on canvas.

Where do ideas come from?

In this video, a few veteran creators (such as David Lynch) share their thoughts on the creative process and how they tackle idea generation. Excellent viewpoints; I especially enjoyed this piece by Robert Krulwich:

I don’t think that inspiration is a starting point… I guess – maybe I’m a little suspicious of the idea. Like… in the beginning there was nothing and then there was light. I don’t think I’ve had that experience and for other people who’ve said they’ve had that experience – I’m not sure I believe them.

That thing that gets you going feels like an itch to me. Like, ‘hmmm’, it’s an itch — wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder — got it.

I didn’t hear inspiration in there.

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